Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category


12/31/2010 | 06:56 PM

Since Christmas Day, dolphins Tutti and Frutti have been performing five times a day in a small pool for an audience that pays to be entertained.

Supposedly entertainment for the holidays, Angels of the Sea at the Araneta Center features the dolphins, and the sea lions Jello and Jelli, performing tricks to the beat of deafening music, in a 12×18 foot pool.

According to Jose Avelino, spokesman of Indofil Seawonders Co. Ltd, the show’s organizer, the show is meant to create awareness to save the dolphins from the harmful conditions of their natural habitat.

“While these angels of the sea entertain the audience, their performance is also expected to translate into a human understanding that caring more about marine life is essential as both worlds (marine and human) are interconnected,” Avelino was quoted in a report published by Malaya.


The dolphins go through their routine as the crowd looks on. GMANews.TV

Data from ‘magician’s hat’?

But several groups strongly disagree — and they have been actively campaigning against the show since they learned of preparations in the Telus parking lot in Araneta Center, where the show was eventually held.

“No marine mammal expert would agree with the data they came up with. Perhaps they pulled their data from a from magician’s hat. Nagiimbento sila kasi they need to protect their business,” said A.G. Sano of the advocacy group Dolphins Love Freedom Network.

But Indofil Seawonders Co. Ltd claims that it wants the entire nation to witness how much it values dolphins and how it firmly believes that marine life complements human life and balances the ecology.

The company also insists that dolphins have a right to live any place where they are most secure.

In the wild, dolphins travel in family groups called pods and are used to swimming distances of up to 100 miles (161 kilometers) a day.

Blaring music ‘deafening’ for dolphins

Their hearing is extremely sensitive, and any kind of noise causes them stress, according to animal welfare activists.

Clearly, performing dolphins in a traveling show do not have the space they need and would have in the wild. Apart from that, the loud music and applause during a show is harmful to their hearing.

Anna Cabrera, program director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), explains that dolphins are echolocators, and locate objects by emitting sounds and detecting the reflections given back. This is how they “see,” she explained.

When they are in a small pool, they cannot use echo-location., Cabrera said.

“It’s like putting a person in a small drum and shouting loudly. Nakakabingi na echo ng mga sigaw ng mga tao, ng music na pinapatugtog nila The loud applause and the blaring music is deafening [for them],” she says.

Requests to ban dolphin show

The Dolphins Love Freedom Network, PAWS, Earth Island Institute (EII) Philippines and the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP) have written to both the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala and to the Araneta Center management, asking that the show be stopped—but to no avail.

“We had to coordinate with DA and BFAR [Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources] and all they said was, ‘Wala, wala namang permit’,” Sano said.

“The last time Earth Island talked to BFAR was the day before the (show’s) launch. So I don’t know kung ‘di talaga nila alam (So I don’t know if they really did not know [about the moves to ban the show],” he said.

Sano has been doing marine mammal research for the past eleven years.

“It’s either they’re incompetent, na hindi na nakakalusot sa ‘radar’ nila (that it went below their ‘radar’)or they were lying to Earth Island,” Sano said, adding that they were caught by surprise when they saw the show featured on morning shows of GMA7 and ABS-CBN.


Members of Dolphins Love Freedom protest the use of dolphins in live entertainment shows.GMANews.TV

Dolphin show permit ‘violated laws’?

It turns out that the Bureau of Animal Industry, which is an agency under the agriculture department, granted the organizers a permit to run the Angels of the Sea show from December 25 to January 2.

In their position paper sent to DA’s Alcala, the advocacy groups said that it “believe(d) that the BAI erred in its issuance of the permit as this violated the following laws: the Animal Welfare Act (Republic Act 8485) and the spirit behind the DA Administrative Order (AO) No. 8, which sets out the rules for the importation and release into the wild of plants and plant products derived from the use of modern biotechnology.

The show also violated the basic principle of allowing animals their freedom, a standard that should be part of BAI’s mission.

By granting the permit, the BAI also violated the dolphins’ freedom from pain and physical discomfort, from injury and disease, from fear and distress, and the animal’s freedom to conform to essential behavioral patterns, the groups said.

Profit for dolphin show organizers

Claiming that performing animals are cruelly exploited, the groups continued to hold protest actions — both outside and inside the show.

The groups pointed out that proceeds of the show are not intended to fund the dolphins’ interests, but only go to profit the event organizers.

“I’ve given some talks to some kids who’ve gone there and they don’t even know the body parts (of dolphins),” says Sano.

“So, aliw lang siya (It’s just entertainment), just for profit,” he said.

According to the animal welfare advocate, the trend in marine parks is to put up some money for research.

Even Seaworld —the huge American chain of marine mammal parks, oceanariums and animal theme parks— is known for giving out research grants to institutions all over the world, Sano said.

It needs to reinforce its claims that its shows are held for conservation, says Sano.

Sano’s research into marine mammals bagan after he watched The Cove, a 2009 documentary film that describes the annual killing of dolphins in a Park at Taiji, Wakayama, Japan.

Sano thought it was something people couldn’t just watch sitting down. “Mass slaughteryung ginagawa nila [The film depicted the mass slaughter of dophins]. I saw the connection between the slaughter and dolphin shows in general,” he said.

Kasi if you allow these types of businesses, it’s teaching the whole generation of Filipinos that it’s okay to take something from the wild and make money out of it,” said Sano, who along with other members of the Dolphins Love Freedom network has painted over 23,000 dolphins over 120 walls all over the Philippines.


Fervent protesters take their cause to the streets. GMANews.TV

Dolphin show protest placards, tarps, t-shirts

On Christmas Day, Sano, together with two other members of the Dolphins Love Freedom, May-i Fabros and Dakila Cutab, biked around the Araneta Center parking lot with fake dolphins headgears, carrying placards that read “Dolphins are dying to amuse you…”; “5 years in chlorinated pools, 50 years in the open seas”; “Don’t watch intelligent dolphins perform stupid human tricks”; and “Watch MMFF2010 not Dolphin Shows.”

They also distributed to curious passers-by some fliers, which contained info about dolphins and the question, “Do you think they’re happy performing here?”

They were stopped by the Araneta Center security, but were later permitted to campaign after they explained their cause.

On Thursday, the groups took the protest a bit further—enough to provoke slightly aggressive response from security officers at the show.

They displayed large tarpaulins by the pool area, while the dolphins were performing. The tarpaulins read: “This is animal cruelty”, “Captivity kills!” and “Conservation or Exploitation?”

They were able to remain at the center of the tent for a few minutes before security officers escorted them out of the show area.


Four protesters stood on the bleachers wearing shirts that read “No to dolphin shows.”.GMANews.TV

In the meantime, four protesters stood on the bleachers wearing shirts that read “No to dolphin shows.” But soon after the protesters holding the tarpaulins left, those in t-shirts were also brusquely instructed to leave.

“You bought tickets to watch, not to disrupt our show!” a security officer shouted when the protesters argued that they were just wearing shirts.

As the protesters left, they distributed fliers to those watching the show. However, security officers escorting them grabbed the fliers and crumpled them before throwing them away.

Not discouraged, the animal rights activists continued their protest action outside the show areas for over an hour, passing out flyers to passers-by and speaking with them about dolphins.

Educating audiences on marine conservation

Meanwhile, Angels of the Sea OIC Amando Inocentes defended the show.

Mga bata, they get to experience seeing close up yung ating mga mammals, ang dolphins natin, ang sea lions. (Children get to experience seeing mammals, dolphins and sea lions, close up), he said.

“And may mga portion kami rito with trivia questions educating our young children on how to conserve our environment,” said Inocentes in a report on QTV’s Balitanghali. (There’s a portion of the show where children are asked to answer trivia questions, and this helps educate the audience on how to conserve our environment.)

“Tutti and Frutti now are 18 and 20 years old, respectively — which belies the statement saying that pag in captivity (when in captivity)mga ganyan, five years lang ang lifespan nila (the [dolphin’s] lifespan is only five years. This is proof, and they’re still very strong,” said Inocentes.

As with any production, the show must go on, despite the protests.

Previous dolphin shows won’t be done again

For Sano, he has no hopes that the show will actually be stopped. He cites previous instances of dolphin shows which were allowed their full run by the SM Mall of Asia and Metrowalk in 2006 and 2007.

The managements of both malls did not cancel the shows, but instead pledged to never sponsor similar shows again, after they were met with picketing.

“The only objective is to appeal to them to not do it again,’ Sano said—noting however that his top appeal was for fireworks to be banned in Araneta Center. “It’s damaging to the dolphins,” he said. The New Year’s Eve would be particularly hard on the dolphins because of the noise would reverberate in the pool and the pollution would inevitably contaminate it.

The fact that they’re (Angels of the Sea) here in Manila shows that they’re not concerned about the welfare of the dolphins,” said Sano. If the organizers truly understood the behavior and the physiology of dolphins, they would know that their hearing is extremely sensitive.

Tapos isu-subject nila sa ganyan, yung maingay na (Then they will subject [the dolphins] to Metro Manila noise and pollution. Imagine that,” he said in disgust.

Nakakainis eh. (It’s infuriating) I don’t think (the) DA can do anything about it, because they’ve been hands off. Mahirap na asahan,” he said.

“So the best way is to appeal to them or Araneta (Center management) if they could do something about it,” he said.

So far, neither Indofil Seawonders Ltd. nor the Araneta Center has responded to the poignant appeals.

Commercial dolphin shows are prohibited in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Nicaragua.

Even dolphin broker Chris Porter, who once sold 25 dolphins to Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, has had a change of heart and is now an animal rights activist. — MRT/TJD/DM GMANews.TV


by Lope Cui

Richard Gutierrez... you're NEXT!

What can anyone possibly learn from Dolphinariums and Animal Theme Parks?  Punta ka dun, picture-picture, magre-reklamo na mabaho ang amoy, magrereklamo na walang parking, magre-reklamo na masikip ang CR, magrereklamo sa hindi masarap na pagkain, at papayamanin ang mga abusadong hampas-lupa na may-ari.

Dolphinarium and animal theme park operators claim that a visit to their establishment is educational.  Describe “educational”: you’ll see a lot of (poorly lit) posters about the animals, watch a video or two about the animals on their natural habitat (on mute), and listen to a (barely audible) tour guide talk about the wonders of the animal kingdom (who has a memorized script and won’t take any questions from the audience until after the tour – at which point they suddenly disapper).

We fondly refer to our immediate environment as the “concrete jungle”.  Natural jungles don’t have dolphinariums or animal theme parks.  Concrete jungles do – it’s called a “MALL”.  Think about it, of all the things mentioned in the previous two paragraphs, is there any difference?

A dolphinarium or an animal theme park is bad business.  High costs, low profit margin, and the t(h)reat of eco-terrorism (wink-wink).


“Prostitution, when unmotivated by economic need, might well be defined as a species of psychological addiction, built on self-hatred through repetitions of the act of sale by which a whore is defined.”

KATE MILLETT, Sexual Politics


12/25/2010 | 05:30 PM

Three wildlife activists on Saturday held a street protest in Manila calling for the closure of a dolphin show in neighboring Quezon City, which allegedly “holds captive” and “exploits” two dolphins shipped from Indonesia.

Wildlife activist A.G. Saño said he and two others held the Christmas Day protest to


Dolphins are DYING to amuse us.

urge Filipinos to boycott the dolphin show called “Angels of the Sea,” which will be staged by Indofil Sea Wonders Co. Ltd. at the Big Dome of the Araneta Center in Cubao starting Saturday.

“Two dolphins are being held captive in Araneta Center for our amusement, when their rightful home is the open seas. We salute the Filipinos who refuse to support this type of animal exploitation and encourage the rest of us to boycott the dolphin show,” he said in a statement Saturday.

Carmela Garcia, Araneta Center’s marketing officer, for her part, refused to comment on the issue, saying that they only provided the venue and had nothing to do with the actual show.

Saño, who started a movement called “Dolphins Love Freedom” and maintains a Facebook page on the issue, likewise criticized how the show’s organizers kept the dolphins in “a small heavily-chlorinated pool” in a parking area near the venue where the marine creatures swim, eat and release their wastes.

“The organizers misinform the public by saying that watching dolphin shows is one way of saving the ocean, but studies show that captive dolphins live less than half of their life expectancy,” he said.

He added that the dolphins, which have very sensitive hearing, might get “traumatized” or lose their hearing during the New Year’s Eve celebration, when Filipinos traditionally use fireworks and firecrackers.

As a result, Saño wrote a letter to Agriculture chief Prospero Alcala asking him to cancel the dolphin show’s permit to operate, and to issue a ban on fireworks within the perimeter of the Araneta Center.


5 years in CHLORINATED POOLS. 50 years in the OPEN SEAS.

Earlier this month, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) also called for the cancellation of the same dolphin show and criticized the way the organizers allegedly deprive the marine mammals of food before the show starts.

PAWS likewise called for the resignation of Angel Mateo, officer-in-charge of the Animal Welfare Division of DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry, who allegedly issued the permit for the dolphin show.—JV, GMANews.TV

photo credits:

angels of the sea poster:

bikers by the dakongbatute




Department of Agriculture


Dear Secretary Alcala,

I have been caring for dolphins and whales for the past eleven years. I have risked my life countless times trying to study and protect them. I have been threatened by people for trying to stop dynamite use for fishing and scrap metal salvaging in their known habitat. I set my personal safety aside for these creatures because in my decade old research, I learned that their primary sense is hearing, and that it is so sensitive that many dolphins have died in captivity because of noise generated by filtration systems, plus human noise when cheering and shouting.


Christmas isn't too fun with captive dolphins

From Christmas Day to January 2, Araneta Center will present captive sea animals doing tricks for our amusement, but Sir, on December 31, New Year’s Eve, Manila, as always, will be expected to produce the loudest noise and dirtiest air (pollution) of the year. I am quite scared for the dolphins in the small tank. The loud explosions from the fire crackers will be worse than dynamite fishing because they have no where to run in the pool in Araneta Center. At least in the wild, they can swim far, fast and deep, away from the damaging explosions. In Araneta Center,Cubao, the noise will bounce off the walls of this small pool and can damage their hearing. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that. Cubao, as it is now, is heavily polluted since it is the busiest hub in the country. Leave a glass of water overnight and you will see the sediments at the bottom. Imagine what the new year’s eve pollution will do to an open tank in the heart of Cubao! How will they clean it the next morning?? Your guess could be the same as mine…chlorination.

Whaleboy in action. Dolphins Love Freedom. (Anonas Ave., QC)

If the organizers really care for the dolphins, other than profiting from their circus acts, they would have thought of this when they were drafting their program for the show. Obviously, they don’t.


Please do something to help the two dolphins. President P-noy, in his inaugurals said we the people are your bosses. I won’t believe this until I sense even in a small way that this message is heard by your good office.


Thank you very much and more power to you!


A.G. Saño (aka Whaleboy)

Dolphins Love Freedom

+63919 8996008

let them sing in the wild…

DLF at Cubao X


boycott dolphin shows!

53% of those dolphins who survive the violent capture die within 90 days.

The average life span of a dolphin in the wild is 45 years; yet half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity. The survivors last an average of only 5 years in captivity.

Every seven years, half of all dolphins in captivity die from capture shock, pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning, and other stress-related illnesses. To the captive dolphin industry, these facts are accepted as routine operating expenses.

In many tanks the water is full of chemicals as well as bacteria, causing many health problems in dolphins including blindness.
When a baby dolphin is born in captivity, the news is usually kept secret until the calf shows signs of survival. Although marine mammals do breed in captivity, the birth rate is not nearly as successful as the one in the wild, with high infant mortality rates.

Wild dolphins can swim 40 to 100 miles per day – in pools they go around in circles.

Many marine parks subject their mammals to hunger so they will perform for their food. Jumping through hoops, tailwalking and playing ball are trained behaviors that do not occur in the wild.

Confined animals who abuse themselves (banging their heads against the walls) are creating stimuli which their environment cannot supply. Dolphins in captivity tend to develop stereotypical behaviors (swimming in a repetitive circle pattern, with eyes closed and in silence) because of boredom and confinement. This is equivalent to the swaying and pacing of primates, lions, tigers and bears confined in cages.

Dolphins are predators of fish and spend up to half of their time in the wild hunting for food. Supplying dead fish results in less exercise and lack of mental stimulation, thus causing boredom.

When trapped together, males often become agitated and domineering. This creates pecking orders (unknown in the wild) and unprovoked attacks on each other and the trainers. In the ocean, although fights are not unknown, the wild dolphins have a chance to escape.

Dolphinariums claim that their mission is to protect dolphins in the wild through research and public education. Those are nice words but facts speak louder. If dolphins are so happy in captivity, why do they die so fast? Why the secrecy about their mortality rates? There would be fewer spectators if people knew how many animals were “dying” to amuse them. Perhaps if the death records were displayed at the entrance, no one would buy a ticket.

Most dolphinariums have made little or no contribution to education about dolphins. Jacques Cousteau believed that captive dolphins are conditioned and deformed and bear little resemblance to dolphins living in freedom in the sea. It’s like studying human psychology only in prisons, which leads, obviously, to misinterpretations and absurd generalizations. As people learn more about the wild cetaceans, they pity more the captive ones. As TV, computers, and virtual reality become greater educational tools, the justification for keeping captives on display disappears.

We blindfold dolphins to study the efficiency of their echolocation system. We put probes in their larynxes and nostrils to examine their sound production. We train them to push buttons and levers, to choose between materials and colors, we teach them to speak. We clamp them down, drill holes into them, and dissect them. Why? They do not exist as subjects for agonizing experiments by man. Dolphins suffer no less than humans. The only way scientists should study dolphins is to swim with them in the wild. No argument can rationalize the forced confinement of these highly intelligent creatures. Dolphins are innocent sufferers in a hell of our making.

The Good News is…
Fortunately for the dolphins, more and more people are becoming concerned about dolphin suffering, and uncomfortable at sea circuses. Citizens are now speaking out loudly that dolphins and whales belong in the ocean. This is the only hope. Imagine this: A theme park has a dolphin show and nobody goes. The owners will soon close down. There would be no dolphin shows if no one paid to watch them.

Dolphins have evolved over 50 million years to be successful in their wild habitat!